The CDC announced a shorter isolation time for people with COVID-19 on Monday, cutting it from 10 days to 5 days.
As the country faces a surge in Omicron cases, companies have been dealing with severe staffing shortages.
Under the new guidelines, people infected with COVID-19 are only required to isolate for five days if they’re asymptomatic. That is followed by five days of wearing a mask when around others.
Those who have received a booster shot are exempt from quarantine after being exposed to COVID. Everyone else is required to quarantine for 5 days instead of 10 days.
“Under previous guidance, people who had received two doses of an mRNA vaccine or the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine were exempt from quarantine,” Fox News said.
According to the CDC, two doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are approximately 35% effective against Omicron, while a booster shot increases effectiveness to 75%.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said “CDC’s updated recommendations for isolation and quarantine balance what we know about the spread of the virus and the protection provided by vaccination and booster doses”.
Transmission of the virus is highest 1-2 days before the onset of symptoms and the first 2-3 days of illness.
The new guidance comes shortly after the CDC adjusted guidance for health care workers who test positive for COVID, cutting isolation from 10 to 5 days if there are staffing issues.
According to The Washington Post covid tracker, the “seven-day average of new daily cases in the U.S. was more than 222,000 on Monday, up more than 52 percent from the seven-day average a week ago”.